Tag Archives: museum Termas-da-Azenha

Europe – aid from north to south

Gotspe

How can you, as prime minister of a country in need, abandon other countries? How the minister of finance currently is lecturing other hard-hit countries! What a move to block hundreds of billions from the European emergency fund now.

Hopefully you will be sitting on a southern terrace again. Then you praise all those friendly, relaxed southerners with their attitude to life that you (secretly) would like to have. But not now. Now the crickets may not knock on the ants from the north.

This was a letter sent to the Volkskrant from mister Gerard van de Laar.

I copied it without permission, thinking that it is an excellent representation of the current political situation, and that those involved will not mind since it is an open letter, and de Volkskrant will not object to get a little extra advertising.

As former prime minister of Italy Enrico Letta delicately remarked recently:

“To all countries that still have doubts about aid to the worst-affected countries: who will buy your tulips again – hopefully soon?”

And António Costa – our prime minister – probably has a reddish haze when he hears something about that “holandês”

antonio-costa-gives-a-speech-with-the-portugese-and-the-european-flag-in-the-background

– and well, are they right or what? Now is not the time for warning fingers – yes, you are right, then what?

Who’s accounting was not completely in order – now is not the time. That’s for later. Now it is important to keep Europe together, because if “they” – our honorable leaders – set a bad example for us, we might go at each others’ throats again. Our parents already experienced that. And our grandparents already 2 times. This Corona war is bad enough.

I thank all the gods that I’ve been alive for 58 years and never experienced a war. Well, except for this one then.

Because you know – it’s not about “the big boys” at all

They all remain out of reach. Well, except for Boris Johnson (who has it), but that’s more a case of evil lasts for ever. And besides, the British are no longer part of Europe.

It is about all those “small” people, all small self-employed people, one-person companies that in a country like this didn’t earn much already, but now nothing comes in at all. And Portugal is not as rich a country as the Netherlands or Great Britain; where billions are allocated for first aid to anyone who needs it.

I had a bit of solidarity problems with the football championships (European Championship – semi-finals Portugal – the Netherlands) but it is not getting any easier now

Both sides have a point. Southern point of view: this is nobody’s fault, and we now need help from the European support fund or the economy will fall to zero. Then we’re all in trouble, because then we’ll soon have no money to buy those tulips from you!

The Dutch point of view mainly boils down to the fear that this’ll make the nationalist forces much stronger, that the call to leave Europe will become too loud to be ignored, and then we will all be in trouble. Imagine that the Netherlands wants to leave Europe. It’s more and more complicated with those tulips.

And you can’t keep on going making nice pieces of art with them

artwork-with-tulips-let-hope-bloom

Fortunately, they’ve recognized (and heard from all sides) in The Hague that this isn’t a pleasantly compassionate position. Portugal is never mentioned in the comments, by the way, it’s always about Spain and Italy, but I can assure you that in a country like Portugal, stopping the economy doesn’t make life easy for a lot of people!

In any case, there’s already a lot of silent poverty, and generations go abroad to find their salvation there

Now that is also the case, because the Portuguese think driving an expensive car is very important, but it’s mainly motivated by the emphasis for decades on Big & More, Flex & Fusion.

This means that all small self-employed persons, shops, businesses, offices are gone, for the benefit of large supermarkets, multinationals, chains and franchise companies. And there we are. We also won’t be able to sell our tulips, here in Portugal … because we don’t have them.

All we can do is sell the land. The space. The light. The sky. The sun. The beaches. The forests. The hills. The mountains. The charming towns. Lisbon. Porto. The fado. And smiling people everywhere & always.

But unfortunately they don’t smile so much anymore …

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

A writer’s challenge during the lockdown

No guests – plenty of time to study a few things. What we’re doing: knowing more about cryptos, writing, marketing, growing your own vegetables, enjoying beautiful fabrics for the kimonos.

the-vegetable-garden-and-the-view-of-Termas-da-Azenha

I came across a writer’s challenge – from a copywriter 

Great, I want to learn to write better. This was indeed a challenge from the start; very inspiring by the amount of motivated people who participated. Organizer Peter Post’s commitment was incredible. Every day hundreds of comments in the Facebook group. Respect!

The challenge started 14 days ago, when almost nothing was going on in terms of C-crisis

We call those times AC now. During this challenge the C-virus gained a lot of territory, and we had to adept to that. So, it started a week AC (ante-corona). We started at the end (what result do you want to offer your reader?) and step by step we worked forward. Because of that effort and good tips I came to the following attractive text:

If you look in the mirror in the morning, you will see that what you feel is true: you’re tired.

Even after a night of sleep you’re still tired. You know you have the discipline to drag yourself to your computer, but you don’t feel like it. Your battery is empty. And the one of your sweetheart too. And from the arguing goind on, your kids have had it as well.

It’s time.

Time for something other than just work, care, must-do and arrange.

Time for each other. Time for a little adventure. Time for a day of doing nothing, or running after your children giggling, climbing a mountain … or canoeing, flying a kite on the beach, staring at the beautiful landscape in front of you with a nice glass next to you … something creative … what would you really like?

It’s necessary to go on vacation. It’s enough.

“Er … the situation is a bit different now – there’s another challenge …

We’ve been locked up with the children for more than a week now, so that’s quality time enough. We could use a little less of that maybe … although on holiday it’s very different of course . Then you’re not locked up, isolated. That makes a difference.”

(I’m going on with this challenge, because I’m sure there’s still a world after the Corona virus.)

Dream away in front of the mirror …

a-stork-in-a-tree-in-Termas-da-Azenha-holiday-rentals

Three storks walk majestically across the field in a parallel line between the green young sprouts. They’re looking for frogs, the first of which have started their evening concert, waiting for the rest to fill in. The sun’s just peaking above the horizon – the first firefly can already be seen.

You’re so comfortable looking at this living painting; a glass of wine next to you on the table. “Those Portuguese can make a nice wine, don’t they …” you say, almost more to yourself than to your husband, who’s sitting next to you. He’s looking at you with that warm, lazy look in his eyes you’ve fallen for, long ago. He closes both eyes for a moment, and slowly turns his head back, pointing at the firefly without saying anything.

You can hear your youngest telling a sleepy story to your oldest, a habit they started this holiday.

The end of another beautiful day, the beginning of…. ?

Exactly. That’s what you want.

How different did you feel after the holiday last year!

How different that beautiful tanned person looked in this same mirror!

That beautiful tanned person was then fully in the mood for everything – work, flirting with your sweetheart, making jokes with that nice colleague, an evening out with friends, reading your children the same story endlessly, visiting your grandfather … what a zest for life and energy you had then. Where did it go?

High time to go.

“Sounds great. But have you heard the latest news yet?

There is a virus all over the world, so we have nowhere to go. Excuse me if I sound a little cynical. I don’t think I’m going to book a holiday if it’s not at all certain that we can go somewhere in the summer. ”

(I’m going on, because after this crisis the world still exists. Certainly. And we all can go on holiday.)

Do you recognize this, dear reader?

Can I give you a tip then?

Portugal is the sweetest country in Europe, full of warm-hearted, cheerful people.

Portugal is full of clean beaches. It’s full of hills and mountains – and in some areas you imagine yourself in pre-history – it’s that vrigin and intact.

In Portugal they speak a lilting, unintelligible language, which is great when you’re on holiday.

And in Termas-da-Azenha we speak your language. Literally and figuratively.

Okay, okay … unfortunately we’re all living in uncertainty about the future right now. The question is whether we can go on holiday this year – but if we can, it’ll probably get pretty crowded everywhere.

Then a last-minute is not such a good idea

We have a solution for you: you just book your holiday now, and if it’s not possible to go, your deposit will automatically be converted into holiday credit.

This is valid for one year – until September 2021. You’ll receive a voucher.

the-voucher-people-will-receive-if-they-make-a-reservation-now

That way you certainly have a nice place to enjoy those storks and stuff, when we DO can go out again. Whether in 2020 or in 2021.

(Oi, please let it be in 2020! How much quality time can you endure with your loved ones? That is a real challenge!)

Mail us for availability: info@termas-da-azenha.com.

Still not sure which house you would like the most? Then take a look at the site: https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/nl/vakantiehuisjes/

And er …. the above offer is serious, guys! Not just a challenge exercise!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

The world upside down

uʍop ǝpısdn pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ

Togetherness – that is the predominant feeling here in our village. We are with twenty, and they all have a special name: the German family, another German family, an English couple, a Portuguese couple, the two students, Paul and the three of us.

Nice group to survive the crisis

Honestly – I was last grocery shopping 4 days ago now – life just goes on here the way it was. We don’t necessarily have to stay inside, we can go out, into the vegetable garden, go cycling, walking, petting the dog, exercising – especially the part of not having to stay indoors is great.

I would really have a hard time in a few days, continuously inside

I always find the Netherlands (I visited recently – just back in time) very nice, but then I’m almost always indoors because of the season and the weather, which I find difficult. I sincerely hope that you all hold up well and have a little fun.

Paulie arrives on his bike at Termas-da-Azenha

Paul, “Paulie” – because he always refers to “The Godfather” – would move to the Alentejo. He loves heat – but that is doubtful now, because in Portugal the mandatory isolation is also obligatory. Plus, his car broke down, and it’s not the best time to hunt for another one.

“The girls” – the students who will study wildlife here – have arrived just in time

They were here just before it escalated, and were in tears until the university sent a message to all interns that everyone should return immediately. Fortunately, we all managed to avoid that, thanks to a very understanding supervisor, who started to list all the advantages of staying here. The photo demonstrates how they are at the moment:

the two students sit on their veranda enjoying the sun

The German family – “the Germans”, standard designation of my foster son Hugo – is in voluntary isolation

A week already, because “the German” had a cold, maybe flu. He had been nowhere, not in touch with anyone, but they would rather be sure in this case. Typically German conscientiousness!

The “New Germans” – a family of 5 who have just flown in from Florida and interrupted their world trip, are trying to recover from their jet lag. They had been here for a month last year and thought this was the best place to go in isolation. They have been lucky: they have just been ahead of the virus all over the world. Despite this, they also voluntarily retire in Palmeira for a few weeks.

“The Couple” – Portuguese lovers, now that everyone also has to stay in Portugal, are staying in their room. Our dog Donkie, popular with everyone, is on the doorstep, because she’s BFF with Maria. The dog just feels that Maria is coming, then she’s already waiting along the road.

Last but not least, goldsmiths “Padephanie”

A combination of both names, because where one is, the other is too. Fluffy cat Fizzy spins in their orbit, and has a great life – she’s allowed to go out through a hatch especially made for her, up the hill, and hopefully catch a lot of mice there.

Padephanie-the couple of goldsmiths standing in front of their DIY mailbox of Casa Oliveira, Termas-da-Azenha

Perhaps “the girls” will see her on video, because they put down bait at night to capture images of all wild animals with their wildlife cameras. Donkie has already stolen 4 of their bones – maybe Fizzy is also participating in this special sport.

Life is actually not much different than usual, except that the topic of conversation has changed a bit …

For all of you: we send you light, air, space, sun and health. Stay positive, stay healthy, keep smiling. Fun jokes are circulating on the internet. Thank God we have all that technology!

And hopefully until later, everyone. Later in the year, here in the Termas. When this is over, the Termas is a great place to meet other people again. At a safe distance, that is …

Stay safe in this crisis, and all the best!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Lisbon and blogger José Cabral

You can find everything on YouTube. And you often don’t remember how you got there.

Oh well, doesn’t matter.

This was a great documentary – I never watched a documentary about Lisbon for an hour. Usually that’s a list of things you must have seen, or just boring.

But this was different. Sparkling from the start, beautiful pictures, a funny angle.

I hadn’t heard of José Cabral yet, but now I know that he’s world famous in Portugal

 

And of course I now also have the book at home.

I thought for a moment, when I went to order, that it was at that famous bookstore in Porto – where Harry Potter is filmed. That was a nice thought: a beautiful photo book about Lisbon bought from the most famous bookstore in the world, in Porto! Yes, trust me, that’s nice if you live in Portugal. (no, sorry, my bad – this was a mistake)

 

It is better not to say too much about a photo album. So I’m going to show you a few pictures below. If you want to hold the book in your hands, there are two options. You book a stay in Termas-da-Azenha – because it’s here in the reception. Or you order it yourself.

Tasty pics, what?

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Amiable portuguese, but favourably not with corona

There. I thought I had it well under control. Everything perfectly planned.

The new students would arrive mid-March. Mid March is on my calendar towards the 15th.

Not so strange that I think: fine, then I can easily go to the Netherlands from 7 – 14 March. Cuddle with my oldest son, and visit family and friends.

Great planning, but suddenly there’s that stupid corona virus in between me and my plans!

photo of the corona virus

The students, they’re 2 new interns who come to stay here for a few months via Leeuwarden College. Among other things, they will study the effects of forest fires. The previous team had brought a burned-out tree home, and there was a lot of interest in it. That seems to be very special, a hollow tree that survived a severe fire. I think so too, but more from an artistic point of view.

These two interns will continue with their mysterious activities (see the previous blog).

What their activities are – I don’t get involved in that

I only take care of the conditions around all that – a clean, cozy house; information about the environment; they can hand in and pick up the laundry – those things. If there is a thingey with a car accident or a problem with health, then I’m there to help.

These two couldn’t wait until mid-March.

They’re already on their way. There I go with my perfect planning! Exactly when I leave, they arrive. Now it’s not that bad, because son Broes is there, and foster son Hugo as well. They’re perfectly capable of receiving and guiding those two. And I assume they are tough girls, because they’re driving all the way from the Netherlands to Portugal.

An adventure if you’re not even yet 20 …

But now there’s another story – the corona virus

Shoot! That’s less easy to arrange. An airport, and especially an airplane, is probably an amusement park for a virus. They jump excitedly from person to person – plenty of fresh supplies. You can’t see them, so you don’t know if they come with you. And a few of my family members are already around 80. Then you run a bit more risk, it seems. My cousin is pregnant. Same thing.

the writer of this blog of Termas-da-Azenha with a magnifying glass

It would be a shame if I brought corona as a “gift”!

I’d rather bring a corona beer. All though my pregnant cousin may not have that as well …

Until a few days ago I had the comfort that there were no documented corona virus cases in Portugal. Unfortunately, that reassuring feeling has been grounded, because we now also have 5*. Now, of course, we are fine in the countryside, we are already isolated from ourselves! At the moment there is little turnover of guests, because winter, so I will not take it from home.

And I’m not afraid of myself either, because my resistance has even suppressed a tetanus infection a few years ago. We can beat everything, the resistance and I!

It’s more that you don’t see those things. If they were now as big and colorful as those pictures they always show on the news, but unfortunately … you don’t know what you are carrying.

But I found a solution! Look at this:


the writer of this blog in a hijab because of the corona virus

* That was 5 at the time of writing, thursday afternoon. A few hours later: 9. Oi. It’s probably because portuguese people are so warm and friendly. They always greet each other with handshakes or abraços. Dangerous, in 2020!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

What was first: the chicken or the egg?

I put the crate in front of her nest on the terrace behind the kitchen, and make an inviting gesture: “Come, Carolina, just pop in!” No reaction.
She looks curiously at me, but remains where she is, sitting comfortably.

“Come on, Carolina! Lazy chicken, you! Hophop, chopchop, that’s a good exercise, just hop in your crate! ” Again no response, but she’s watching curiously.
“Hey, what about that? So, you’re not a hophopchopchopchicken? ”

When she finally gets up, I see something brown. Look at that! An egg!

That was earlier than expected. Chicken Carolina hasn’t recovered, and remains kind of paralyzed. I say kind of, because she can use her right leg, but she can’t stand on it anymore. If she wants to start walking, or well, hopscotch, she does it in a cartoon-like way: first make a lot of walking gestures, and then finally a hop. Except when she sees lettuce. Then it goes a little faster. Watch:

We are used to it. But that egg, that’s new, I didn’t expect an egg

Carolina has gained a great position because of her handicap. She gets corn, lettuce, banana, tomato, and lives behind the kitchen. She comes in in the evening. That’s warmer. It’s not a cold winter, but she can’t crawl against her sisters to stay nice and warm, like the other three, who live in the official chicken coop.

“Come on, girl, it is still a little too cold to stay out. If you stay here, your eggs’ll freeze! – and that’s something, only people do, freeze their eggs! ” (It is 15º; text from a worried mother …)

I had bought the other three chickens as company (with a nice encore) but the chicken society is very complicated. That is why chicken Carolina has become a Care Bear-chicken, and resides behind the kitchen.

It’s also my favourite spot to have breakfast – if possible.

Above 10 º you can see me enjoying my coffee and my boiled egg here in the morning, with Carolina as company. You can say a lot of nonsense to a chicken; she purrs back in her own, chickeney way.

So, we have good conversations during breakfast.

The egg was not the only surprise

The next day there was not only another egg, but there were also two big snails in her plate. “Hold on! Where do you come from, that fast? ” I asked myself in surprise, because I’d been there half an hour ago, and then they were nowhere in sight. And everyone knows that snails are not the fastest.

Now I have a vegetable garden nearby, where my arugula, celery, red lettuce and spinach are currently flourishing, so I hate snails. Fortunately they aren’t those nasty slugs (they’re really scary). These are actually cute with those little houses on their backs, but they just take a bite of everything and leave your plants behind with holes in them, everywhere. You can’t serve that, it’s not very goodlooking on your plate. And there they suddenly were on Carolina’s plate.

two-snails-in-the-food-of-our-chicken

“Where do you suddenly come from?” I ask in astonishment, “are you turbo snails or something?”

You never see them, no matter how much I weed and spy. And now they’ve suddenly crossed a whole piece of garden and then terrace, and even crossed the straw. Odd. I grab the one, but his house is apparently not that strong because it breaks. “Sorry!” because it’s not my intention to kill him, “your lime level is not high enough, snail, you have to eat more eggs.” And I throw it as far away as I can, in the tall grass on the other side of the ditch. The other immediately follows.

Now I’m curious

Can snails swim? And how do they know where to go? Would they regard this as a pleasant holiday destination? And the question we started with: about the chicken and the egg?

All questions that you are left with …. nature’s all mystery.

All though we know what was first: the chicken of course!

chicken-loves-to-eat-lettuce-and-lays-eggs

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Things caused by word-of-mouth recommendation

“The poorer the soil, the more diversity” says Ellen cheerfully. We have the same name, and we have more in common.  I get a master class in “What to do with a wild garden” – an unexpected development in an expected visit.

A typical case of word of mouth recommendation

My cousin Judith is a member of a girlfriends club – that’s what caused this all.

When I write it down, it looks like you can sign up to become a member, but it’s not like that of course. These girls know each other since school, and they’ve always maintained close contact.

They’re all around thirty now, some already mother, but they have so much fun with each other that it doesn’t fall apart. On the contrary: it’s becoming ever closer because it’s becoming increasingly special.

They even organized a surprise party for one of the girls who moved to Lisbon. They were all sitting on a Lisbonese terrace and casually apped: “Hey, come on over here! We’re all here, we’ll have a nice glass of wine!” – which of course was a great surprise and success.

a-group-of-friends-posing-by-the-river-in-Lisbon-PortugalBecause of word-of-mouth of that club of friends, mother Ellen and her friend Bep are now here 

Ellen is the mother of one of the girls who moved to Lisbon a year ago. The girlfriends not only kept contact with each other, but they also know each other’s parents well. Ellen has been coming to Portugal since 1984 – a so-called Portuphile. In ’84, ten years after the Revolution, life was still simple and unspoilt here. Everywhere, even in the Algarve, the most touristic place in Portugal.

Unspoilt is nice for tourists, a little less for the residents themselves.

I suspect that the majority of the Portuguese don’t mind that they’re getting at the same level as the rest of the Europeans … but anyway, it wasn’t about that, it was about the visit of these sympathetic ladies. They would’ve spent a night here at the Termas-da-Azenha, but the coordination between them was such that Bep already booked a room in Coimbra. Also not a wrong address: just opposite the cathedral Sé Velha, in the heart of Coimbra, in hostel Serenata. So they only came to visit here. a-visitor-cleaning-the-Butterfly-Garden-at-Termas-da-Azenha

They liked the variety with the pleasant bustle in Coimbra and the peaceful tranquility here

They liked it so much that after the tour and a bica* they offered to spontaneously update the Butterfly Garden. It’s full of yellow clover, morning star, evening primrose, irises, blue bindweed and of course butterfly bushes. I learn that you have to prune, mow, and clean up, because if everything gets too much food, a lot of plants will not be discussed.

a-woman-pruning-the-laurel-in-the-Butterfly-Garden-of-Termas-da-Azenha

And everything spontaneously comes up here. Sometimes I throw in a bag of butterfly mixture, hence the morning star and the evening primrose, but the rest comes naturally. To be honest, I have forgotten all the names that have been mentioned, because a plant-without-name is also beautiful for me. And my head is already so full of anything and everything ….

The laurel looks a lot nicer, all dandelions are gone, and those creeps with red bumps on their stems – the name of which I’ve already forgotten. Ellen is a biologist, and not only teaches as a substitute at schools, but also gives workshops in “Cooking with weeds”, because even in the middle of a big city, there’s a lot to find to use in the kitchen. Or in your medicine cabinet.

An educational afternoon, but also fun! And very appropriately closed with a good Portuguese bottle of red nature.

* Bica: portuguese espresso – even better then the italian!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Spring cleaning and other details

You probably don’t want to read a blog about spring cleaning, dear readers, but that’s actually the only thing we’re doing now

This doesn’t only apply to the accommodation; we’re also going to get a new site!

The site is being completely renovated. It turned out that our theme was no longer supported, and then it’s less likely you’re found in Google.

Now we have a very ambivalent attitude towards Google. A love-hate relationship is the best description. Long live YouTube, Translate, Maps, and the search engine. But keeping an eye on everything all the time, selling your heart and soul to everyone who offers enough money, and their absurd persistence of logic.

We don’t speak each other’s language, Google and I

It doesn’t matter, because a friend does speak that language, and she has taken on this task. She’s doing the hard core technique, and I color the pictures. That’s how it’s fun to create a site.

An additional advantage is that I have time to help son Broes with cleaning and painting everything where necessary, and to make significant improvements here and there.

In the kitchen of room 2 for example. A little different design, a new stove, new refrigerator, all painted – it’s waiting for a couple of parents who’re sitting comfortably in their garden chairs, watching their offspring plus friends playing at the ditch.

blog_spring-cleaning-and-other-detailsUnfortunately, I’m not such a talented writer that I can make a fascinating story out of these boring things. Sorry. We’ll keep it short this week, in the hope that you yourself will come and see how it gets better and prettier.

Furthermore, everything is hunky-dory

Peace and harmony, and spring has begun. Well, who can write an exciting story if everything is so pretty and pleasant?

Greetings from all the little birds who are already having a great time, and one of which accidentally flew into the kitchen.

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Moving to Portugal – how does that work?

Stephanie has the time until June 30 – Portugal has given all english emigrants a few months time to get their things in order. If that was the only thing you had to do, then it wasn’t too bad!

Unfortunately: there is a bit more to it, for emigrants who are moving to Portugal

blog_moving-to-Portugal-how-does-that-work_the-vanIf you’re a European, an overwhelming amount of bureaucracy is coming your way. These days you come from outside Europe, being english, and then everything will be different. I’m impressed by what they already have googled up, but judging on what I hear, this is just the beginning.

Paddy is of irish origin, and therefore has it a bit easier. The Republic of Ireland remains European.

Why would you be moving to Portugal?

Bristol was not such a nasty place to live. Many murals everywhere, lots of music, theater, artistic graffiti – and because they themselves are creators of beautiful things, they found that a very pleasant atmosphere. They’re jewelry makers – make beautiful things, just look at their page on Etsyblog_moving-to-Portugal-how-does-that-work_the-workshop

London was horrible, Cambridge idem, Southampton just to endure. But everywhere: incredibly stupid and noisy people, knuckle draggers as they’re called, and rude predators as landlords.

OK. If you say so, I don’t know. These are apparently their experiences. I still live under the assumption that all english are very well mannered, with a stiff upperlip – although I do know the english reputation from the Algarve. The portuguese there aren’t all that happy with those guys, because they destroy an incredible amount. And not just physical things ….

Stephanie and Paddy are nice, lively and well mannered people. With a very calm, civilized, beautiful cat. Hence the name of their company: Fizzcatcreations.

And that Fizzcatcreations will be another thing in the bureaucratic merry-go-round. “If you want to take your car, you must have it in your possession 6 months in advance,” says Paddy, “but ours broke down, so we had to buy another one a few weeks before departure. And then the company, there are so many things involved! For example, tax rates!”

That was yesterday afternoon, when we were chatting in the sun. Now I think: you just start a new portuguese company, and you keep that site. But yes, the whole system is different of course, and if you don’t know exactly whether you have to pay one tax on your sale, and then also the income tax – well, then I understand that you first have to figure it out thoroughly.

Or the duty-free rate is much higher in the UK, much lower here in Portugal

Probably due to the differences in income. English labour costs around 50 – 65£; portuguese labour may vary from 10 – 25€.

You can enjoy life, earning as a goldsmith, but it’s not that you belong to the top 1% of course.

Nobody said it would be easy – not even when you’re moving to Portugal

But if you want something, there is always a way. Brexit didn’t help much in terms of bureaucratic misery, but it did help to make the decision: to go or not to go? Ultimately, you can goldsmith anywhere in the world and send your jewelry by mail.

They are here for now, and they will stay for a while. It’ll be fun! And educational as well. Interested? Leave a comment under this post!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Nocturnal dandy in the portuguese winter

It’s a mild Portuguese winter; it has been raining for a week. You know it too well probably: gray skies, hanging low over the fields, and you can’t walk anywhere without your glasses turning into frosted glass.

It reminds me of the first portuguese winter when we just moved

It started beautifully in September. We didn’t know at that time that the summer in Portugal lasts until about mid-October, so we were just as happy every day.

But at the end of November it started to rain, and it never stopped.

A rainy winter is mild, I now know, but then we just came from the Netherlands. They don’t call it “Frog-country” – for nothing!

blog_nocturnal-dandy-in-the-portuguese-winter

Every step outside meant wearing boots, looking for an umbrella and a jacket, because it wasn’t raining a little bit. The entire valley was full of cats and dogs. Once, I stayed in bed for three days, literally sick of the rain. What did we do??? Trade in a comfortable house for a renovation project without electricity and running water – well, it runs outside, but nothing inside!

Were we a bit gaga or what?

The winters after that were sunny. Awesome. In the following years you could count the rain showers on one hand. Marvellous! Every day was a party. Sitting in the sun in the middle of December squeezing oranges from your own trees – are we blessed or what? No way gaga!

How stupid were we. After a few years the whole country was so dehydrated that you only had to look intensively at a bush or it was already on fire.

We got a huge forest fire as a bonus.

Now it’s not that dangerous here, because it’s very open and there’s lots of water, but it did come close and raged over the top of the hill. Fortunately the eucalyptus forest was cut down that year, and there were only tiny babytrees.

You understand that I have come to appreciate rain differently, just as the Portuguese winter

blog_nocturnal-dandy-in-the-portuguese-winter

We need water. All beings on this planet need water. And I now also know: a rainy winter is not cold. If it’s clear, and sunny during the day, it can sometimes hit zero at night. But not now. It is 16º, according to the barometer. And it’s not windy – thanks to all the gods in the universe!

It is nice to lie comfortably in your warm bed and hear the rain. My window is always open; great to have fresh air when you sleep.

For weeks now, I wake up in the middle of the night from a little bird. At first I thought I was dreaming, but it really is a little bird. In the middle of the night, in the middle of the rain.

What kind of happy dandy that is? In the middle of the Portuguese winter night?

The image isn’t that interesting – it’s my window screen. I was too sleepy to think carefully. It’s about the sound of course.

Anyone any idea what kind of birdie this is?

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

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